9 Basic Windows 10 Problems & How to Fix Them

Microsoft launched its Windows 10 upgrade nearly a year ago, bringing with it all sorts of changes and feature additions. There’s a dedicated Tablet Mode for users who have touchscreens and want to interact with their apps and games more naturally. For regular PCs without touch, there’s the Windows Store stuffed with apps that they can download and run alongside programs like iTunes. Windows 10 is a seriously robust update, almost nothing has gone unchanged.

In the week since launch we’ve started to see and hear about more Windows 10 problems. Unlike the problems we saw last week, these issues aren’t necessarily related to installing Windows 10. Instead, they’re related to everyday use of Windows 10.

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Read: 7 Windows 10 Upgrade Problems & How to Fix Them

Here are some basic Windows 10 problems we’re hearing about from users. These are only fixes for casual issues that less tech-savvy users ask often. For more sophisticated problems and issues, check out our breakdown of Common Windows 10 Problems and Windows 10 Upgrade Problems.

Basic Windows 10 Problems & How to Fix Them – How to Turn Tablet Mode On & Off

If you have a Windows 2-in-1, you can find yourself dumped into the Desktop after the free Windows 10 upgrade finishes installing. That’s not really normal as Windows 10 should notice there isn’t a keyboard connected to your 2-in-1 and turn on Tablet Mode.

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If you find yourself in the Desktop, but you’re using touch, place your finger on the right edge of your display and slide it to the left to reveal the Acton Center. There’s a button for opening the Action Center in your Taskbar too that looks like a message bubble. At the bottom of the Action Center turn Tablet Mode on.

Basic Windows 10 Problems & How to Fix Them – Open the On-Screen Keyboard Outside of Tablet Mode

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Outside of Tablet Mode, Windows no longer opens the on-screen keyboard automatically. Unfortunately, there’s no way to get the keyboard to react like it did in Windows 8 outside of Tablet Mode. You can manually open the keyboard though. Simply tap on the keyboard icon in the bottom-right corner of your screen.Windows 10 Problems & How to Fix Them – How to Check the Windows Store for Updated Apps

If you’re upgrading from Windows 7, the Windows Store is new and so are its apps. Click or tap on the Store Live Tile and explore it for new apps. If you’re upgrading from Windows 8.1, you may have already installed Windows Store apps.

With tons of changes and better support for mouse and keyboard users, old Windows Store apps do work in Windows 10, but not exceptionally well. To get the latest versions of your favorite apps you should check the Windows Store for updates.

Click or tap on the Store icon, it looks like a white shopping bag. By default Microsoft has it pinned to the Taskbar. It’s also in the Start Menu/Start Screen.

Tap or click on the circular icon in the top-right corner of the Windows Store beside the search bar and select Downloads from the list.

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Now click or tap on Check for Updates.

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If you find yourself having to do this on a regular basis, your Windows 10 PC may have a problem. By default the Windows Store downloads app updates in the background, meaning you shouldn’t need to check for updates unless there’s an app update you want as soon as you hear about it or you’ve turned automatic updates off.

Basic Windows 10 Problems & How to Fix Them – How to Record Video Games

Windows 10 has Xbox Live integration included. Through the Xbox app users can track their Gamerscore chat with other PC games and capture screenshots and more to share over Xbox Live. It’s that last feature that some people are having issues with.

To take a picture or record video from a game open the title you’d like to record from. Windows 10 should automatically detect games, but if it doesn’t, press the Windows Key on your keyboard and the G key at the same time. Now select what you’d like to do from the Gamesbar that appears in the bottom-middle area of your screen. If your device is robust enough you can record video, all Windows 10 users should be able to take screenshots.

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Remember that only media recorded from games downloaded from the Windows Store can be uploaded to Xbox Live for sharing directly through the Xbox app.

Basic Windows 10 Problems & How to Fix Them – How to Turn Off Notifications

Windows 8 introduced notifications and Windows 10 makes bearable. The Action Center gives users one place to check their pending notifications. The Settings app gives users granular control over which of their apps sends alerts.

Open the Action Center and tap on Quiet Hours to silence all notifications regardless of whatever app they’re coming from.

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Click on All Settings, then System, then Notifications & Actions to analyze which apps have permissions to send you notifications.

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Basic Windows 10 Problems & How to Fix Them – How to Remove the Search Bar

Microsoft integrated a Search area directly into the Windows 10 Taskbar. Besides offering integrated Bing searches, the Search bar holds the Cortana personal assistant.

Read: How to Use Cortana in Windows 10

You should at least try the feature, but if you prefer Google to Bing and have no plans to use Cortana, don’t put up with the clutter. Remove the search bar by right-clicking on it if you have a mouse or tap and hold your finger on it if you have touch.

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Select Hidden from the Cortana menu.

Basic Windows 10 Problems & How to Fix Them – How to Clean Install Windows After Upgrading

Many are recommending that you do a completely clean install of Windows 10 if you’re having issues after the upgrade. Clean installs remove everything from your old installation – apps and all – so they’re really a measure of last resort.

Remember to back up everything app and program on your PC that you’d like to keep before resorting to this.

Go to the Settings app and open Update & Recovery. Now open Recovery. Tap or click on the Get Started button near the Reset This PC option.

Basic Windows 10 Problems & How to Fix Them – Live Tiles Are Gone

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When you’re upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1, you may notice that all of your Live Tiles are gone. Unfortunately, this seems to be happening by design. There’s no way to get your Live Tile layout back. You’ll need to pin all of your favorite apps to the Start Menu/Start Screen again.

Basic Windows 10 Problems & How to Fix Them: Adding Icons Back to the Desktop

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In Windows 10, lots of the icons that you’re probably familiar with are missing. Microsoft has placed shortcuts on accessing Music, Video, Settings and more directly on the Start Screen instead. Don’t fret though, you can bring these shortcuts back to your Desktop pretty easily.

Go to the Desktop and right-click anywhere that there isn’t an icon.

Now tap or click on Personalize.

Next tap or click on Themes from the menu on the left of the Settings app.

Tap or click on the Desktop Icon settings in the menu.

Now select which icons you’d like to add back to the Desktop and hit Ok.

Basic Windows 10 Problems & How to Fix Them: Removing Adds from Start

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Microsoft is heavily promoting the Windows Store in Windows 10 with direct links to things the company thinks users will find interesting. These links sit in the Start area with links to your most used apps. You can turn these links off, thankfully.

Go to the Settings app.

Now tap or click on Personalization.

Tap or click on Start.

Now flip the switch beside “Occasionally show suggestions in Start.”

Basic Windows 10 Problems & How to Fix Them: Turning Off Automatic App Updates

To give you better control of what’s happen on your device in the background, Microsoft now lets users stop automatic updates of apps from the Windows Store.

Open the Store app.

Tap or click on the User Account picture just beside the search box on the right side of the Store app.

Select Settings from the drop-down menu.

Flip the switch beside “Update apps automatically.”

From this point on, you’ll need to manually update any apps that you’ve downloaded from the Windows Store.

Basic Windows 10 Problems & How to Fix Them: Getting Back to Internet Explorer

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Microsoft may have removed any links to its old Internet Explorer browser, but that doesn’t mean you can’t access it at all. It’s the only browser that’s tested to work with some of the most important websites on the web. To find it, tap or click on the search bar within the Taskbar.

Now type Internet Explorer and click on the shortcut in the pop-up menu.

Basic Windows 10 Problems & How to Fix Them: The Start Menu Won’t Open

For some reason or another, Windows 10 has had a problem with loading up the Start Menu for ages. Sometimes the screen will surface and you’re able to do what you need to do. Other times, the screen will seem to lag, with 10 seconds or more passing between the time you tapped the button to open it and when it surfaces.

If this is happening to you, check out our guide on what to do when the Windows 10 Start Menu won’t open.

Basic Windows 10 Problems & How to Fix Them: Finding Replacement Apps

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At this point, Windows 10’s app store is certainly better than the app store from Windows 8.1. At least, it’s more organized. For Windows 10 to be truly successful, Microsoft will need to attract more app makers to its cause.

If there’s an app that you want that isn’t available yet, go ahead and look around the Store for replacement apps made by third-party developers. There are replacements for Reddit, Twitter, Google Hangouts and YouTube.

Read: 14 Windows 10 Apps: Alternatives for Gmail, YouTube & more

Good luck with Windows 10.

32 Comments

  1. George

    08/06/2015 at 7:37 am

    You are wrong about the very last “Problem”. live tiles are still there and you can change the start menu to where it goes full screen as if it were in Windows 8 once again. Once that is done, live tiles are available once again.

    Reply

    • Dom

      09/13/2015 at 2:08 pm

      Could you explain that as I went straight back to 8.1 after upgrading to 10 because 1/ Live tiles are all gone 2/ Your settings are not ported to other platforms and computers and I found that one of the most usuful feature in 8.1. One computer, multiple platforms that update your tiles on all platforms.

      Reply

  2. Jim Taszarek

    08/07/2015 at 10:33 am

    re: icons on taskbar. When clicked, won’t open completely – only shows thumbnail of open screen then disappears.

    Reply

  3. enzo marra

    08/08/2015 at 10:58 am

    i uploaded windows ten from windows 7 and found my keyboard no longer worked. I had help from a mate who works inpc world and he said go to devices manager into keyboard and update drive. or if that didnt work delete keyboard and reinstall with drive update. it didint work. so have reverted back to windows seven as I just didnt like it.

    Reply

    • Samson Wong

      08/14/2015 at 9:41 am

      I got issue exactly the same. Change back to Windows 8.1.
      Does anyone know how to fix that?

      Reply

  4. Sundheim

    08/08/2015 at 11:38 am

    This helped me get rid of the Cortina bar. I would love to know how to make the volume control work as an always available icon on bottom of homepage – had this in windows 7 and the “upgrade” produced a non working volume icon. One can do a several step process to get to the volume control now and it is a pain. Windows 10 pretty much sucks.

    Reply

  5. john hill

    08/08/2015 at 7:33 pm

    Can’t get search to work as well as tiles are gone start will switch from white to blue but no change in display can’t find pictures or skype won’t reset

    Reply

  6. Frank02128

    08/09/2015 at 7:00 am

    HELP!!! Cant get beyond the sign on screem. Desktop screen wont stop flashing…

    Reply

    • Keith Heinrichs

      08/09/2015 at 5:43 pm

      I’ve got this problem too. Anybody have any ideas how to resolve?

      Reply

    • SK Turner

      08/10/2015 at 12:22 pm

      I, also, am experiencing this fault. I must do a Ctrl/Alt/Delete just to power down my laptop (TOSHIBA). I have been scouring the web, but cannot find even another site that addresses this fault. I need help.

      Reply

      • John

        08/11/2015 at 7:19 am

        Same issue with HP desktop, upgrading from Win 8.1 64 bit
        Any help out there…….?

        Reply

        • Lorna

          08/16/2015 at 8:14 am

          Also having the same problem with flashing windows 10 desktop after upgrade from 8.1. Any solutions?

          Reply

  7. Floyd

    08/09/2015 at 7:02 am

    I have a problem that was caused when going from windows 7 to 10 in which I had a couple of dvd drives that were named f and g drives and as soon as I had down loaded windows 10 it took away one of the drives and caused a panic. I purchased another dvd drive thinking that was the problem but it wasn’t, so I did the obvious thing and went back to win 7. The disc drives showed back up but every thing was not glorious. I reinstalled win 10 thinking the problem was straightened out but no chance. Can you help me find out what’s up?

    Reply

    • Stephen Donehue

      04/20/2016 at 1:58 am

      You need to check if your hardware, including optical drives, has the latest drivers that work with windows10.

      Reply

  8. Martyn Etheridge

    08/10/2015 at 7:08 pm

    I have a problem with the taskbar staying up, went from windows 7 to 10 and I can go into properties but changing the ticks in the hidden boxes makes no difference there is no apply button..getting fed up of rebooting it every time but it always stays up…checked on the net but can’t seem to find the answer to solve this problem.

    Reply

  9. FIST

    08/13/2015 at 2:31 am

    “Unfortunately, there’s no way to get the keyboard to react like it did in Windows 8 outside of Tablet Mode.”
    This is not true. You can activate the Windows 8 behavior like this: Start -> Settings -> Devices -> Typing -> “Automatically show the touch keyboard in windowed apps when there’s no keyboard attached to your device” (the last option)

    Reply

  10. Mary Golson

    08/15/2015 at 6:40 am

    I cant open my excel, word or picture . The files are there named but when I try to open it says it cant open has it been moved, deleted? Help please?

    Reply

  11. Dixie Saeger

    08/17/2015 at 3:48 pm

    I can’t get tiles to open. Have called microsoft and have actually gotten one person who didn’t know how to fix this. He was supposed to have someone from level 2 call me. Didn’t happen. So I scheduled a call back. They did call back, but after waiting for nearly an hour, they hung up on me. Guess I will have to pay a repair person to do something about this.

    Reply

  12. 5Papa

    08/18/2015 at 5:48 am

    I just bought a new computer with windows 10. Oh how I wish I would have bought a Mac. Good by Microsoft. You should be thoroughly ashamed for turning out such a defective product. Never again.

    Reply

  13. Ian Fanafi

    08/25/2015 at 11:25 am

    Since upgrading from Win 7 Ultimate to free Win 10 Pro, Itunes stopped working and now it won’t repair itself, new install / re-installs FAIL and FAIL; and when reverting to an earlier Itunes version which took, the program won’t recognize an Ipod connection. Accessing Itunes / Ipod music remains a damned this way or damned that way SNAFU.

    G-damn competition between Apple and MS always fubars PC custos for months after each OS upgrade.

    Reply

    • LadyNozzer

      09/06/2015 at 3:45 pm

      Same problem here, installed 10 from 8.1, couldn’t use my printer and was told by Microsoft to reinstall 8.1 and wait for the printer driver to be invented (my words not his); now can’t update iTunes and as of today can’t even sync my own iPod because apparently I don’t have enough privileges (on my own PC? with my own iPod? REALLY?)

      Reply

  14. Tracy

    09/08/2015 at 8:49 am

    My windows open all the way over to the right, with only the edge showing. I can’t get into them, make them full screen or move them over to the left. Has anyone else had this problem?

    Reply

    • Daniel hatfield

      05/01/2016 at 9:21 am

      If you see the bar at the top, double-click that bar. It will open full screen.

      Reply

  15. Dom

    09/13/2015 at 2:03 pm

    I upgraded to from 8.1 and went immediately back to 8.1 (nice feature by the way) not loosing any tile and everything back working. I mostly surf the wen and pin the site I want and I cannot get rid of my Live Tiles. I have to have them. Unless Microsoft find a way to accommodate all of them and more I will not upgrade my other computers to 10. The ability to port all your settings emails and tiles to all your computers is gone with 10. With 10 each computer is his own -back to 7. I hate that.

    Reply

  16. Benjamin

    02/01/2016 at 12:10 am

    Thank you so much! This article was 1000 times more useful than the official forms. Seriously. Hours searching for an answer with no luck. Had to reinstall windows 10. Then months later same thing happens. Hours of searching and no problem fix. Stumble upon your site and problem solved within 15 seconds. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Reply

  17. George

    02/01/2016 at 5:27 am

    Looking around the web more and more people a reporting an issue with Windows 10 where Store Apps (Typically those that appear in Tablet Mode) will not execute. Most people experience the app loads for 1 or 2 seconds then disappears. This is a Registry problem, what causes this to happen is anybody’s guess, but here’s the fix. Click the ‘Start button’ (bottom left of screen), Click ‘All Apps’, scroll down to ‘Windows PowerShell’ left click on the folder to open, then Right Click on the ‘Windows PowerShell’ and select from the drop-down menu ‘Run as administrator’. When the ‘Windows PowerShell’ appears type or copy and paste the following at the prompt:-

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

    Press Enter. This will take a few minutes. When finished close the PowerShell. Your Apps are now working normally again.

    Reply

  18. John

    03/14/2016 at 12:52 pm

    So George, do I literally copy and past everything from “get-app” down to “press enter” this would be great to know, I’ve had the win 10 for about a month now and last night all I did was move the facebook tile from the bottom to the top of the rest of the tiles because I use it frequently and now almost none of the tiles will open when I click on them. I have an HP15 if that’s helpful,
    Thank you

    Reply

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    04/24/2016 at 6:36 am

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    Reply

  20. ashlinkan

    04/25/2016 at 6:08 am

    Hi, My issue in Windows 10 is when i open any app from the Taskbar, i have to minimize that app before opening another one. Eg. If i am in Outlook and click on Google Chrome, Nothing will happen until i minimize Outlook and then open Google Chrome. Please assist.

    Thank you

    Reply

  21. Daniel hatfield

    05/01/2016 at 9:18 am

    When I go on the XBOX app, the buttons appear to create a gamertag, but they are underneath the taskbar. I can’t click on them and I can’t shrink the height of the window. How do you click the buttons?! Please help?
    Thanks.

    Reply

  22. Dave Brame

    05/01/2016 at 3:31 pm

    Wow your lack of general windows knowledge is impressive. None of the “problems” in this article are actual problems. More like features added and how to disable them. Also a lot of the information in this article is out right wrong, like “live tiles are gone” which they are not as others have already stated. Thanks for wasting everyone time who searched for real windows problems, like what causes it to use an insane amount of ram and 100% disk usage. Do you have a fix for that? Cause its an actual problem you can’t fix by right clicking on an icon

    Reply

  23. David

    01/22/2017 at 8:34 pm

    I have an issue with any windows 10 application that pertains to drop down menu’s. It doesn’t happen all the time but often enough to be a real pain in the neck. When you click on something that is suppose to activate a drop down menu, the menu drops down but immediately closes again. Then you click on it again and the drop down menu works fine. Second time’s charm…always. Is there a fix for this because it becoming a real annoyance.

    Thanks for any help here….

    Reply

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